Monday Morning Musings:


I am unsettled, unmoored

between light and shadow

FullSizeRender 155


but the shadows grow

the winds blow

I ponder as the pressure drops

watch the sky’s darkling mood

watch it brood

upon the future,

and darken more

(blacker than before)

it weeps,

perhaps remembering light

the song of birds

the hum of bees

thundering its sorrow,

growling like an angry drunk,

sunk in sorrow and pain

throwing punches in the rain

lightning flashes

charged particles, clashes

of hot air

in sound and fury

power displayed

but going nowhere


Far away,

on another world

a storm of swirling crimson, unfurls

sending out a song

in crashing waves

volatile and unpredictable



larger than our earth

a spot forever turning


over a world of gas

without firm ground

with nothing to stand upon



NASA: This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.


But here I stand

feet firmly planted

(head in the clouds)

as I look up at the sky

catching a melody in the wind

storms may rage

night may fall

on firm ground,

I wait for the light

The sun rises, my spirits do, too,

I hear the mockingbird sing in a sky of blue.


We go out to hear about wine

to learn from a man passionate about the science

and his craft

educated in universities in California and France

but there is art, skill, perhaps a bit of magic involved,

a master craftsman, a master craft


In the barrel room with Larry Sharrott of Sharrott Winery.


We taste wine from barrels


sitting there for ten months or a bit more

not ready yet to go to tanks,

raised above the floor

kept cool by solar power

(to keep the wine from going bad and sour)

I think of the skill and craft of making barrels,

here, some are made from American oak

some from French or Hungarian oak


I learn the wine in American oak tastes different from that in the European

I like the symmetry of fruit of the vine kept in barrels from trees

my mind goes to the economy of colonial America

built with the help of barrels

though not of wine

barrel makers—coopers—found in every town

large barrels, hogsheads, terms of measurement

but we talk of wine here,

admire its color

swirl it to let in air,

smell it and taste it,

the barrel wine drier, more astringent,

the bottled wine, rounder and fuller,

I’m fascinated–

the knowledge, the skill, the passion

wonder how people first picked grapes

and learned to make wine

centuries ago

refining the process over time

though the science remains the same.


We drink Chambourcin

a glass at the winery, overlooking acres of grapes,

and birds in flight,



then more at our daughter’s house

we missed the Bastille Day celebration this year

but we have French-named wine

French cheese, a baguette

and chocolate cake

(yes, let us eat cake).


It is a beautiful evening

their dog plays

their cat watches


the shadows grow

but the summer light lingers

as do we

the storms but a memory in the blue sky

and I’m feeling moored, settled

my family and love,

the port in stormy and fair weather,

I hear the songs of the universe surround me.


We visited Sharrott Winery in Hammonton, NJ.






31 thoughts on “Unsettled

  1. Your musing reflects the sound and fury of our gully-washer last evening. This morning has dawned bright and clear with grandson Curt mowing the soggy grass. He doesn’t know it yet, but when he’s finished, he’ll have cake too – mini chocolate eclairs.

    I’m guessing you are still doggedly determined to get that manuscript ready for publication, that calming kitty as muse. Brava! I’m doing another memoir read-through and hoping to send the draft to another beta reader this week before our anniversary pause.

    • Thank you Marian. Yes, last Thursday and Friday we had thunderstorms. (Tornado warnings in PA.) I wasn’t feeling great on Friday. And yes, it turns out I have to write another chapter for a contributor who didn’t come through. UGH.
      I’m sure you’re grandson will enjoy his treat. Good luck with your read through/edit.

  2. We had the same storms, or at least storms from the same system. I used to make wine — only mead but it’s a wine all the same — (and beer) and have always thought there was something magical about the fermentation process, of turning water, yeast, and a sugar of some kind (honey) into wine (or beer).
    One of relatives, going way, way back, was a cooper.
    Sounds like a lovely weekend. I love how you connected it all together (including Jupiter’s Great Red Spot). 🙂

    • Thank you, Robin. That’s interesting that you used to make wine and beer.
      I’m still super busy, so Sunday was a nice break. I’m glad it turned out to be such a lovely day.

  3. I like the juxtaposition of this poem and its musings. How we can feel stable and moored and yet when we look out into the universe we realize that we are rushing along around and through space. A dizzying thought. Better to drink wine with family, relax with the happiness of animals, and feel secure within our sphere of belonging. Beautifully done

  4. The musings of a melody, mockingbird and magic were softly, lightly placed into my mind. The other dissatisfied and stormy parts were quieted. As you went forward past the rain and other world of Jupiter, you found your mooring. It is like mine, among loved ones. This was lovely.
    I haven’t expressed openly any comfort or sympathy over your obvious frustration (and disappointment) in co-horts not being able to be counted on, Merril. I have felt sad for your having to make up for chapters not submitted in a professional, researched manner. I hope this will very soon be a big bump/hurdle seen in the past! xo

    • Thank you very much, Robin, for both your kind comment about the poem and my other work. I have a busy day of writing ahead of me. It’s definitely frustrating dealing with people who do not respond to emails and either do no follow through or do not send work that is acceptable. This book will be all finished this week. Then I need to finish the next one. 🙂 Thank you again!

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